North Park Senior Portrait/Family Photo Shoot: Combining Sessions

The last senior portrait session I wrote about made me chuckle because it was a high school guy who was obliging his parents. This session was later that same day and this high school senior guy actually requested me for his portraits! That felt awesome—but I should point out that I’ve known him since he was a little boy. His mom and I go way back and it was such a treat to photograph him and his family!

senior guy portraits

We started by the huge pine trees off of Pierce Mill Road. I just love that setting for a high school senior guy! It’s majestic and fitting for this high school senior as I’m certain he’s going to do great things!

high school senior

This might be my favorite so I’m voting for this one as his yearbook photo! Isn’t it great that students are no longer limited to stuffy cookie-cutter portraits for their yearbook these days!?

handsome senior student

There are lots of occasions where families want to combine sessions and I’m happy to do that within the designated time for the photoshoot. We were already at the park on this gorgeous day, so why not capture a couple of shots of the whole family?

family portrait at North Park

We’re so blessed in Western Pennsylvania to have so many gorgeous settings for portraits. And what a treat to photograph this family there!

family portrait in the woods

And because portraits of husbands and wives don’t happen often enough after the wedding day!

cute couple

Cranberry Senior Portraits: No Muss, No Fuss for High School Guys

Occasionally, I’ll get an inquiry from a parent with a son who is not particularly looking forward to his senior portraits. Let’s be honest, there aren’t many young guys out there who are eager about their senior portraits. Of course, I’d like everyone I photograph to anticipate their session with happy thoughts, but I understand and know that after the first few minutes, said senior will likely feel a sense of relief that it’s really not so bad. At least, this session concluded with a resounding, “that wasn’t painful” or something along those lines.

black and white senior portrait

We started this session at 8 a.m. which is early for any high school student, but this was my last available session before the senior portraits deadline. And while he said he likes to sleep in until about noon on the weekends, this guy handled the early morning like a champ.

high school senior close up

We went to Cranberry Woods, which is such a nice and convenient location for portraits.

high school senior at Cranberry Woods

I encourage my seniors to bring a change of clothes for two looks and I like this casual look on him. And it’s his favorite soccer team, which is all the better when there’s a story to go with the clothes.

high school senior casual portrait

high school senior in soccer jersey

For me, this was such a great start to the day. And I think it was better than expected for my subject too!

black and white portrait lit by the rising sun

If you have a high school senior in need of portraits, I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at or give me a call at 412-427-8371.

Cranberry Family Portraits: Cranberry Woods

One of my favorite nearby places for photos is Cranberry Woods, a business park off of Route 228. It’s usually quiet and has lovely woods with tall grasses and if a family is looking for a location in Cranberry, this is it! But shhh! Don’t tell anyone.

This family just welcomed home a baby girl three months ago so this session is part newborn session, part family portrait, all outdoors at sunset. And we couldn’t have picked a better day, so I’m thankful for the gorgeous weather on days like these!

family portrait in the woods

Where else can a family walk through the woods without tripping on roots or fallen branches? I’m telling you this secret won’t last long.

family walk in the woods

I just love seeing siblings give kisses—is there anything sweeter when they do this without any prompting?

kisses from big brother

It’s a good idea to bring a blanket along for family pictures. I keep this navy picnic blanket with me for family sessions, and some families bring their own to compliment the wardrobe!

family portrait on a blanket

Goodness gracious, there is something that’s just so satisfying seeing a big sibling hold a baby sibling. Everything just feels right in the world.

big brother and little sister

We stopped for some portraits of this little sweetheart. At three months, she was very interested in the world around her and kept looking up at the trees. But then she’d flash a sweet smile my way when the camera got close.

baby in basket

little sis close-up

And we definitely needed to take some time to photograph this cool little dude.

cool dude leaning on a tree

I really like photographing families from above like this, but I like to give families warning that it can get pretty chaotic. And I’m not sure of why, but it does in a fun way!

the family from above

One of the things this mama was looking for in her session were portraits of her and her husband individually with each of their kiddos. And I love taking an opportunity like this to focus on the relationships between parents and their little ones.

mommy and baby

father and son

daddy and baby

mother and son

And just one more family portrait! Never believe me when I say, just one more! My finger just can’t stop at one click!

family portrait at sunset

Pittsburgh Family Portraits: Mellon Park

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet family when their youngest was about a month old. You can check out that session here. It’s amazing how much little ones can change in just the course of a year and such a blessing to be able to meet up with them a year later for family portraits at Mellon Park in Pittsburgh.

family by the fountain

This big brother was so sweet with his little bro and was a model subject. I think his mama must take lots of photos of him at home!

family seated on a blanket

We started at some of the most popular locations for photos at the park before the crowds filled in for a festival that was being held there.

walking hand in hand through Mellon Park

I love this park, it’s one of my favorites and most of the sessions I’ve done here have been closer to sunset. But coming here in the morning and working with the sun rising on the opposite side from where it sets presented a nice challenge in that I found some new and lovely spots that work well in the morning light, like this gate below.

portrait by the gate of the walled garden

Family portraits with little ones can be a little bit tricky getting everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time. I love this more candid shot where mama was just tickling her little one. That got him to smile!

mom and dad tickles and giggles from the boys

We wanted to capture some images of the boys together and getting them off of their feet is my go-to approach when they’re little like this, so this park bench in the lower walled garden was just the thing!

boys on the park bench

kisses from big brother

boys looking over their shoulders

Throwing our kiddos up in the air is such a natural thing to do when we’re trying to get them to laugh and have fun. It just happens effortlessly in sessions and I love to capture this. It never gets old.

momma throwing her boy up in the air

Look at these two handsome little guys sitting so nicely on this blanket!

boys seated on the blanket

And we ended this session with lollipops, which are such a great motivator for smiles. But the little bro dropped his and ended up forgetting about it so this lucky guy wound up with two!

daddy let him have two lollipops!

What a great start to the day!

Pittsburgh Newborn Sessions: Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

A very good place to start! This session took place when this wee one was just 7 days old. And she was awake for almost the whole hour and was so content! We started in this family’s gorgeous foyer. It had ample window light and lots of room so that I could back up and use my favorite lens.

kisses and snuggles

mom, dad, and baby

It’s so sweet to see parents swoon with delight when their baby yawns.

yawning baby

This might be my favorite shot of the session. I love seeing their faces so close together—the loving kiss of a mother and her baby so contented in her arms.

mommy kissing baby

We moved out to their front porch on this unusually cool day in August. Just look at that sweet pouty face.

on the front porch swing

I love how the light highlights her features while she rests in her daddy’s hands.

baby close-up in black and white

And this lovely nursery is going to be home to some wonderful memories!

in the nursery

At just seven days old, it’s hard to stay awake long. So this sweet slumber is a perfect conclusion to our session.

in mama's arms

Congratulations and blessings to this sweet family!